Bold decisions, injury woe and lack of creative spark: Five things learned from Phil Parkinson's first Sunderland game

Welcome to Sunderland, Phil.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 5:45 pm
Sunderland fell to their third defeat of the season at Adams Park.

This is not how Phil Parkinson would have envisaged his first game in charge of the Black Cats going.

Sadly, it would have come as little surprise to anyone who has seen Sunderland play this season.

A limp defeat, shot-shy strikers, an injury blow and concerns all over the pitch.

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This is what we learned from Parkinson's first game in charge.

Not afraid to make bold decisions

All eyes on the teamsheet at 2pm and the biggest call came in goal - Jon McLaughlin, out of sorts this season, dropped for Lee Burge.

A big call to make having only had a couple of training sessions but Parkinson did stress he'd watched all the recent games so would have been fully aware of the errors McLaughlin had been making.

Burge acquitted himself well.

Parkinson has to stamp his message across quickly

There will be no honeymoon period, Sunderland don't have time. The League One table makes for bleak reading.

Nobody expected Sunderland to be 10th after 12 games - a whopping eight points from the top, or three wins.

That is nowhere near good enough. Parkinson barely had two sessions with his players before the trip to Wycombe but there was no sign of a new manager bounce among the players at Adams Park.

Sunderland have been way below par all season and a sharp improvement is needed before it is too late.

Sunderland lack creative spark

One of the many problems facing Parkinson is the chronic lack of creativity, Sunderland only had one shot on target and that was late on.

Sunderland frustrations clear

Aiden McGeady will miss the Tranmere Rovers game on Tuesday night after picking up his fifth league booking, four of them in his last four games - frustration at boiling point.

More injury woe and Charlie Wyke will be a miss

Wyke faces a lengthy spell out, while Laurens De Bock has a thigh injury, Denver Hume given the nod.

Wyke divides opinion among supporters but clearly he would have been key to the way Parkinson wanted to play. A chance for Grigg to finally cement his place in the side - fans wait with baited breath.